Struggling Fits

Struggling teams have been giving the Milwaukee Bucks problems. The New York Knicks certainly fit that bill, with their struggles reaching alarming levels.

The Bucks, one of the NBA's hottest teams just last week, look to avoid a third straight loss to an inferior opponent Friday night when they face a Knicks club coming off one of the worst losses in franchise history.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Milwaukee -2 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 193 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on Milwaukee –2 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Milwaukee (7-6) has lost two straight following a five-game winning streak, falling to Philadelphia 114-99 on Tuesday night and losing 96-80 to Atlanta on Wednesday. The 76ers and Hawks are a combined eight games under .500.

The Bucks will now visit New York (4-10), which has faced off-the-court controversy during a terrible start that seems to be growing worse. The Knicks lost 104-59 to Boston on Thursday night, marking their third-worst loss and their second-worst scoring output of the shot-clock era.

Nate Robinson's 37-foot 3-pointer at the final buzzer saved New York from scoring the fewest points in franchise history. The Knicks' lowest point total was 58 on Dec. 15, 2000, against Utah.

"We take two steps forward and one giant step back," said Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, whose team had won its previous two games. "I don't know where this game came from. ... Definitely didn't see this type of game coming after the last two games we played."

Thomas may soon take the fall for the team's performance. The coach dealt with a sexual harassment lawsuit in the offseason, and the Knicks fell apart after he pulled Stephon Marbury from the starting lineup two weeks ago.

Marbury, back in the starting lineup and playing well, helped New York win two straight for the second time this season before enduring Thursday's debacle. Marbury was held to four points on 2-for-6 field-goal shooting against the Celtics, while Robinson led the team off the bench with 11 points.

The Knicks now head back to Madison Square Garden, where they have won two straight and are a respectable 4-3. They won both of their games at home against the Bucks in 2006-07, en route to winning the season series 3-1.

Robinson tied a career high with 34 points while adding seven assists in New York's 118-113 overtime win over Milwaukee on April 7 in the teams' last meeting.

The Bucks are coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season, as their bench got outscored 43-7 against the Hawks.

"Our bench normally provides a big spark for us," said Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak, whose reserves combined to shoot 2-for-18.

Michael Redd went 1-for-6 from 3-point range against the Hawks, but finished with a game-high 24 points - just above his 23.8 season average.

Mo Williams, Redd's backcourt mate, is coming off another strong game, scoring a season-high 23 points Wednesday to go along with nine assists. The fifth-year guard is averaging 18.8 points and 9.2 assists in his last five contests.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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